IndyCar points roundup: Iowa

Leave a comment

While Helio Castroneves celebrated victory, championship leader Scott Dixon left the Iowa Corn 300 scratching his head. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver barely cracked the top ten all day before finally ending up eighth at the checkered flag.

Dixon explained to NBCSN’s Jon Beekhuis that he and the No. 9 NTT Data Honda team simply fought handling problems all race long.

“We struggled. So loose. We beat up the right front a lot. Coming past traffic was really tough. It was a fun race. Physically very difficult. Our car was neutral, fighting it all day,” Dixon explained.

Scott Dixon during practice at Iowa Speedway. Photo: IndyCar

As a result of his struggles, the already close championship picture has become even closer. Dixon now leads Castroneves by a slim eight points, meaning a Castroneves victory at next week’s Honda Indy Toronto would make him the championship leader.

Pagenaud sits third, 31 points out of the lead. Their Team Penske teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden sit third and fourth, making it a Penske 2-3-4-5 in the championship at the moment, with Power 53 points behind and Newgarden 56 markers out of the lead. With Castroneves’ win, all four Penske drivers have now won a race this year.

Behind the Penske quartet, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal and Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato sit tied for sixth, 66 points behind the lead as the Verizon IndyCar Series heads north of the border for the Honda Indy Toronto (Sunday, July 16, 3:00 p.m. ET on CNBC).

Follow Kyle Lavigne.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).